Friday, May 22, 2015

Diary Entry #0029: Book Review—A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas
Date of Publication: May 5th 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. 
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. 
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. 
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

“ our world where we’d forgotten the names of our gods, a promise was law; a promise was currency; a promise was your bond.”

I thought I already knew how awesome a novelist Sarah J. Maas was, but she proved me wrong with my idea of her writing prowess when she blew me away, farther than before, with this book.

Amazing. Remarkable. Mind-blowing. These are just a few words of the many others I could use to describe A Court Of Thorns And Roses. It was one of the books I was most excited about for this year and all the waiting I did was very much worth it. So, I would try to break down each element of this book that swept me off my feet and write a semi-decent review because it was literally just minutes ago when I finished reading.

World-building. For Sarah to describe an imaginary world so flawlessly came as no surprise to me. In the Throne Of Glass series, she was able to make me imagine that fantasy world but that was a world that focused more on the human side. This book was mostly set in the Faerie realm. The place that I saw in my mind’s eye was both beautiful and terrifying and that was because of the excellent description that Sarah used in this book. Honestly, while I was reading I pictured each scene like it’s already made into a movie in my head. I love it when an author has the ability to make me imagine that effectively just through her words.

Characters. Just let me get this out of the way first: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE RHYSAND!!! Okay, I can breathe now. Anyway, what I loved most in general about the characters of this book was their diversity. I loved how there were hidden facets in each of their personalities and even though 95% of the characters were of fae descent, it’s what made them more human.

“The seven Courts of Prythian, each ruled by a High Lord, all of them deadly in their own way. They are not merely powerful—they are Power.”

The main character, Feyre (pronounced as Fay-ruh) was so heartbreakingly human. I can feel her love for her family in the first couple of chapters and even when she was already taken to the Spring Court, her human instincts were still with her. What I loved the most about her was her sense of loyalty. It was very evident from the start and became more so when Tamlin pointed it out but it was most obvious when she did what she had to, to save Tamlin and others.

Then there’s Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court. I really, really liked him as a hero because he’s like the kind-but-over-protective type. You know, the type of hero who’s mostly just brooding but has a very sweet and gentle side. I wouldn’t say that his character was weak even though, literally, that’s true. In general, I actually felt very much from him and his selflessness, for me, was his most remarkable trait.

Lucien, who plays Tamlin’s emissary-slash-best-friend was one of my most favorite. I loved him as a sidekick because his loyalties to Tamlin and his court were unquestionable. Add that to his witty remarks—which I’m a sucker for—and the knowledge of his past and I was a goner for him.

Now, let’s talk about my favorite character, Rhysand *insert heart eyes emoticon here*. I just love him—absolutely, irrevocably, completely love him. That diversity I was talking about earlier? Well, Rhysand was the most perfect example. I love him because he’s so cunning and ruthless when he wants to be but he’s also smart. He knows right from wrong. He’s fierce but—gosh, he’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful in a very unusual way. I can’t wait to read more about him and his seemingly very intriguing past in the next books.

There were many other supporting characters in this book and all of them made this a hundred times more exciting and complex. All I can say is, Sarah J. Maas wrote each of her characters distinctly and it translated beautifully in the story as a whole.

Plot. This story was inspired by the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast. Keyword: inspired. It was not just a simple retelling, no. This book could be a classic all on its own. Maas was able to weave a seamless but complex plot. There was never a dull moment and I found myself congratulating her in my head every time she took the story into an interesting turn. When it took a turn for the worse, I was at the edge of my seat. It’s a Maas trademark that she makes me want to tear through the pages to figure out the answer to a dozen questions. I loved that she didn’t reveal everything or made the twists very obvious. I loved how I was able to get the answers to most of my questions, but above all, I loved how she left entirely new ones as the story drew to a temporary close.

Another thing about the plot—it was sizzling. When I read in the blurb that this book is gonna be “sexy” I didn’t think it would be that sexy. Think of what happened in Crown of Midnight with Chaol and Celaena. I thought that was the level of intimacy in this book, but it went beyond that. I was really surprised because I thought this book belongs in the YA age group but...I think not. Nevertheless, I think it was appropriate for this story because of the unearthly beauty and power of the characters.

As a whole, I think that the storyline, the characters, the setting and other elements of this book came together soundly. This was a rich, imaginative book that had me wishing I had the power to stop time and just savor it. It’s perfect for fans of high fantasy tales with sharp twists and turns and intense romance. I am one, so I guess it’s safe to say that I badly want the next book in my hands right now.

5/5 Magical Stars

About the Author:

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.


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